Tuesday, January 19, 2021

DON'T Use Headphones In Bracket.

Recently I conducted a poll on Twitter to see what my followers listened to while in bracket matches at pre-covid majors. About 25% listen to game audio with headphones, 35% listen to music with headphones, and 40% don't use headphones at all. Throughout my time competing in tournaments I've gone back and forth among all three options, but today I am going to make the case that not using headphones at all is the optimal choice. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

How to Overcome Skill Plateaus in Smash (Or Any Other Skill)

It’s the winter of 2007. It's snowing outside, and I'm on winter vacation. Thirteen year old me boots up a clunky Windows XP desktop to enjoy a full day of Runescape. I log in to find myself surrounded by 2,000 other players standing in the middle of Falador Park. This is world 2 - where all Runescape players went to buy or sell items. I take a deep breath and I begin to furiously mash on the keyboard. 

Flash2:Selling nats 200 ea - JJROCKETS

Flash2:Selling nats 200 ea - JJROCKETS.

Flash2:Selling nats 200 ea - JJROCKETS. 

In a crowd of this size, the only way to be heard (seen) is to spam your sale in the chat over and over as fast as possible. If you can’t keep up with the others your message is drowned out in a sea of faster typists. For those that didn’t have the pleasure of experiencing this firsthand growing up this might sound like an exaggeration, but I assure you it is not. It is through this trial of fire that I learned to type as fast as I do today.

That was almost 15 years ago. Since then I’ve written God only knows how many messages  on AIM, IRC, and Facebook chats. I’ve gone through all of high school and college and typed more papers and essays than I can count. I wrote blog posts, matchup notes for every character in Smash 4, embarrassing posts on forums. I’ve done it all. Yet in those 15 years, my typing speed has not improved whatsoever. Why is that? Today we explore what is known as the OK plateau - the reason my typing speed isn’t improving. The reason most people don’t get any better at driving as they grow older. And most importantly - the reason you aren’t getting better at Smash.